Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prague, Czech Republic

We had a wonderful first day sightseeing in Prague. Our apartment is within walking distance of the Old Town. We walk through a lovely park and then down across a bridge and into the Jewish Quarter. We thought we’d explore that quarter today but as it is Saturday, all the Jewish sites were closed. We headed to the Old Town Square instead.

Wow! It was fantastic! It is exactly how you might picture a town square. There was a huge church called Tyn (pronounced teen) that looked almost evil. Tonight as we walked home in the dark, the church was all lit in blue which only added to the creepiness. I mean, this place looked like some Disney set for vampire Buffy. The inside did not live up to the exciting exterior; a real disappointment. It was typically ornate and church-like with plenty of Christian knickknacks hanging around.

We took an elevator to the top of the town hall (only elevator in Europe, I’m sure) and had a striking view of the town. Tom and I both took tons of pictures. Then the kids and I raced down to watch the clock chime the hour. Obviously, someone with a sense of humour was watching this activity because as the clock chimed the hour and the windows opened to reveal the apostles each taking a turn to wave to the crowds, my camera battery died ensuring I would have no pictures to share. Immediately after I raced over to the nearest store to replace them and paid almost $7 for two batteries. I’m pretty sure I had that big “L” on my forehead. I took a picture of the atomical clock anyhow, just for spite.

We then wandered into a cute little courtyard behind the Tyn church. It had the most adorable little puppet shops and I swear to you all that the child catcher scene in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang could have been filmed right there. I felt like stalking about singing, “I smell children. Where are you children?” in my wickedest voice but as it still gives Julia the creeps at night sometimes, (the childcatcher from the movie not my voice) I decided against it.

From there we wandered over to another great church but there was an English bookstore right in front so we paused to drool over the books. They had children’s books as well and I had to use my considerable persuasive talents to lure my children out. I told them the church had the black and shriveled hand of a thief hanging over the door on the inside. The thief tried to steal the pieta, the most holy of relics and his hand froze when he touched it. The monks had to cut off his hand in order to remove it from the pieta. It has been hanging over the door ever since as a sort of “don’t mess with the pieta” warning. Sadly, the church was closed so we couldn’t get in to see it but you know we will go back. The children are a bit suspicious of my story and I have a reputation to uphold. Besides, who would miss a great find like THAT??

We wandered about marveling at the stunning architecture. Everywhere you look the buildings are gorgeous and many are so completely different from the rest yet they all fit together. It is apparently a gift of Czech architects to be able to do this. We went into the Cubist museum. The cubist movement was big time in Prague but the museum was a bit shy on “stuff”. I enjoyed the interior of the building and the furniture on display.

We had lunch at a great pizza place and then found a big department store and bought Rhys a new pair of jeans. Yes, jeans. His second pair. He will be retiring his zippy pants soon. The era of transformers has come to an end. He also got a new t-shirt that says, “Get Sparky” and has sparkplugs on it.

As we made our way home we had a beautiful pink sunset and lovely views of the city lighting up in its evening dress. Another lovely day abroad.


Unknown said...

I want to see Prague! Ian will probably book tickets as soon as he reads your descriptions and sees the pictures! Love Rhys' Sparky shirt! Now to read the rest...Love Mom

Steve said...

Great to see everyone looking great, in a great looking city! The new Rhys in the old town is a great twist.